Sexton murder case to be sent to grand jury

Published 8:32 am Thursday, June 6, 2013

The fate of the Crenshaw County man accused of murdering his grandfather will lie in the hands of the grand jury.

District Judge Tom Sport found the state presented enough evidence for probable cause against William Bradley Sexton, 21.

Sexton was arrested in April and charged with the murder of his 88-year-old grandfather Pleo Sexton.

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The elder Sexton was found dead at his home on Sweetwater Road near Highland Home on March 25.

At Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, ABI Investigators Jackie Hornsby and Johnny Senn, along with Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Mike Johnson testified the elder Sexton’s throat was slashed and he sustained multiple stab wounds.

Additionally, state forensic experts found that Sexton also sustained a gunshot wound to the head.

All testified that they have not been able to confirm Brad Sexton’s alibis, and that a neighbor witnessed him in his grandfather’s yard around the time the murder could have taken place.

When investigators initially talked to Brad Sexton, they said he told them he had not seen his grandfather in more than a week and that he had been in Troy all day with friends on March 23.

“When we checked his alibi, none checked out,” Hornsby said. “They were in Troy on Friday all day, not Saturday.”

Investigators have also been able to secure video footage of Sexton in the early morning hours of March 22 on his grandfather’s truck.

Hornsby testified that Brad Sexton, in a later interview, said his friend went to get money from his grandfather, and that his grandfather’s throat was cut. He also stated that Sexton said he panicked, staged a robbery and duct taped his grandfather’s mouth.

Senn testified that the duct tape appeared to be placed on Sexton after the murder because it was extremely tight. He said from his experience, if the tape had been placed prior to the murder, it would have sank into the skin.

Investigators said the other two friends’ alibis have so far checked out, and that they haven’t been able to connect them with the murder.

Human blood was found on Brad Sexton’s boots, but forensic results have not come back yet as to whom the blood belongs.

Senn also testified they found a knife in a wooded area near LaPine that was allegedly used in the murder. Senn, who photographed the crime scene, also photographed the knife found, and said the blade was bent and the handle had a stain on it.

Johnson testified he was one of the first to the scene, after Pleo Sexton’s son, Earl Sexton, found him dead.

While investigators aren’t exactly sure of when the murder took place, Johnson testified that from his experience, it appeared Sexton has been dead for a couple of days before being found.

Investigators are currently awaiting forensic evidence results.

District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer said Sexton’s case will be presented to the grand jury Aug. 12.